A Zephyrhills mother is desperate to find the driver who hit her 17-year-old son and left the scene

Mother thinks driver hit son intentionally
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 02:16:49-04

Austyn Cochuyt is in the hospital now with surgery number two on the way.

The 17-year-old and his mother don't know whether he'll need physical therapy after doctors place a medal rod in this leg, but more than that, they want to know the name of the person who left him that way. 

Cochuyt was walking with friends on the grass shoulder off US 301 just south of Justin Avenue, a few blocks from his Zephyrhills home just after 7 p.m. on Friday.

They saw a driver go past them before turning around and driving towards them, hitting the teen before taking off. 

His mother, Bria Cochuyt, thinks the driver may have intentionally hit her son.

"I would see no other reason the driver would turn around and drive off the roadway and accelerate towards them," she said. 

Cochuyt was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with two broken legs and a bruised lung. 

Cochuyt doesn't have health insurance and the only way to file a claim is through the driver's auto insurance.

She won't have that unless that driver is found. 

"It's very upsetting," she said, "to know that somebody could do this and just go about like nothing ever happened." 

She now owes tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills for her son. 

"They're children," she said, "you don't hurt children." 

State troopers found a side mirror near the accident site that belongs to a Honda Accord. 

They're asking anyone with information to contact them by calling (813) 631-4020.